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Working Horses of Lancaster County

Working Horses of Lancaster County

Beth Oberholtzer , Photographs by John Herr

Available May 2021


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Every day in Lancaster County, thousands of Plain-sect farm families hitch up draft horses to work their fields, and carriage horses to take them from place to place. These animals are foundational to a faith community that bans automobiles and tractors in a desire to live simple, agrarian-based lives. Stories and interviews accompany over 240 candid photos depicting the most common horses at work and play in Lancaster County—from foals frolicking at their mother’s side to six Belgians hitched abreast to harrow a field. The book features six draft horse breeds and five carriage horse breeds—Belgian, Haflinger, Percheron, Dutch Harness, Spotted Draft, Standardbred, Morgan, American Saddlebred, Friesian, Suffolk, and mule. The photos and stories show how they are trained and cared for, offering profound insight into the emotional connection that Plain people have with their horses.

Size: 9 1/8″ x 8 1/8″ | 240 color images | 176 pp
ISBN13: 9780764361616 | Binding: hard cover


Beth Oberholtzer and John Herr of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, partnered on Working Horses. They also collaborated on Plain Meetinghouses, which celebrates Old Order Mennonite meetinghouses. Beth, who has a great fondness for horses, is a book designer for various publishers. John is an architectural photographer. In branching out to photograph equines, he built a special rapport with his subjects.